Online Poker: Understanding Your Opponent

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If you want to get ahead in online poker, it’s important that you learn how to read your opponent.

You can’t just go on pure instincts and feel. Despite what beginner players think, you don’t always have the best hand! But more important than simply winning money is figuring out if another player has a queen or jack of diamonds when they’re betting like crazy and raising every time it gets folded around to them.

One of my favorite tactics for gauging my opponent involves watching their body language closely while we play. If I’m playing $0.50/$1 with someone who seems like he knows what he’s doing (but could also be a complete novice), I’ll intentionally make bad bets to see if he’ll call. Generally, if he does, I know that he’s bluffing; otherwise, he probably has a good hand.

If the player only calls when I make big bets or raises, then it’s likely that they do have something like top pair (or worse) and are trying to get me to think there’s more action by calling with their small pairs or drawn hands. If you act like you’re weak (by checking every flop), this cheap shot artist will eventually fold their draw or small pocket pair because his hand isn’t worth betting for value or protection.

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You can also use a player’s past actions against him when figuring out what kind of hand he might have. Let’s say someone constantly bets on the flop with middle or bottom pair, but then folds to a raise. I would assume that this player is betting for value and doesn’t have anything better than his hand unless he put in a lot of action first.

If you can anticipate a player’s behavior patterns, you’ll be able to see if they’re bluffing or having a good hand even when they have nothing. But more importantly, you can bluff them out of the pot with calculated bets on the turn and river which will earn you an easy call from someone who has been sucked into playing your game as opposed to vice versa.

Obviously, body language tells only part of the story. In order to fully understand what kind of cards members have, it’s important to pay attention to what kind of bets they’re making, how much money they put in the pot and their overall bandarqq strategy. This is not an easy task if you aren’t taking notes or even keeping up with your opponent’s betting pattern.

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